Sitting here at the end of 2023, on the couch down with covid (feeling relatively ok), and thinking back on the year.  I’ve been trying to get into a better habit of looking back without staying there too long, but the last time I did a full list was 2016.  Comparing this year to that year it’s pretty night and day – I was way more active then in engaging with lots of things, both in general, the local scene and different areas of life.  There’s def been some good parts of this year, but also some new bad parts, unfortunately.  So here’s to working through the tough things and raising up the good things.  I always like hearing people’s favorites of the year, so feel free to share yours with me.  hope you appreciate these.

# Artists and labels i enjoyed this year off the dome (made this simpler than the past)

(alphabetical order)
an avrin
bone box 
bop & subwave
death qualia
future retro
harsh symmetry
g jones
glume & phossa
nia archives
nikki nair
normal bias
puerta negro
restive plaggona
strict face
toma kami
tristan arp
white peach

# Club single
Nikki Nair & Hudson Mohawke – Set The Roof

# Remix jam of the year
Anything Disaffected touched overall,
honorable mention to Neekeetone

# Local crews, promoters, nights and spaces that hit me this year
cleaner tapes / misophonia (went big this year!)
edgar um / tcrps (consistent since way back)
big up to all the soundsystem culture that hit pgh harder in 2023 – between kallop, wave motion, ASC, subsanctuary and others it’s been nice
pandemic (mostly live shows this year, and always highest quality)
appalachian sound culture for hitting the deep bass niche and collaborating with us on some nights
subsanctuary with quality overall blends of nights
club pittsburgh going more left field nights!
erica for always holding down the goth/deathrock/post punk niche that I dig 
DIY spaces (huge RIP to collision, lots of have come and some have gone, but still very active)
mixtape (great re-launch and dedication to music)
bottlerocket (rad spot and love to see it having a fully schedule outside of the normal pgh hot spot areas)
brutalism (props to this theme and keeping it going)
jellyfish (i skipped a lot of these because I knew they’d be TOO crowded, but nice work on bringing in guests, a fest and having a great niche)
also shouts to nights I enjoyed when I made it there like cyberia, cherry bomb, hyperbop…

# Locals I enjoyed hearing
amby doosters
ed umm
flavor pals
heather harper
keebs (duh?)

# Top shows / Event experiences (that i didn’t throw)
ivy lab + nikki nair @ otherworld
katabatik conclave @ red hawk avalon (washington)
jellyfest @ spirit
found footage fest @ bottlerocket
cube + woody @ collision
melt yr face off new format @ streets
sewerheads, scarlet demore and painted dog @ bottlerocket
bcee & fava @ thunderbird
mac & keebs BBQ @ highland park
misophonia w/ embrassa, black leather jesus and jenn taiga @ club pgh
misophonia w/ 3mm3, void-dweller @ club pgh
ASC w/ distinct motive & tunic @ market st
container, dean cercone + @ collision
harsh symmetry @ government center
oldboy @ bridge
the mall @ rock room
melt halloween black sabbath set @ bottlerocket
cel genesis, andrea andrea, dj furniture, tari @ collision
collision finale @ collision
jenn taiga @ collision
fire pits @ Certain Death
costume contest & Burlesque @ GSC Halloween
Meridian Brothers @ bottlerocket
Pittonkatonk @ schenly park
chain cult @ rock room
nuovo testamento @ brillobox
el khat @ tech 25

Slowdanger SuperCell @ Kelly Strayhorn  

# My own favorite sets/events highlights
several nights at 10.7 marina, between roots, sessions and other friend gatherings
surprise late night set at the Katabatik Conclave
the overall energy and vibe for Madam X at Lazercrunk 
FUZZ at Four Points Brewing, both sessions were nice and great to see folks
everybody crowding under the tents while we dj’d at the HIGHLINE remixed
Everyone’s sets for the BXC show @ Collision with Death Qualia – super happy with that
Hitting the UKG and grime hard at Tiki lounge for Halloween
Getting to play industrial techno / hard broken beats for MISOPHONIA  @ Club Pgh
doing a variety of guest spots at mixtape – electro funk, synthpop, goth, eurodance

# Fav spots / things to eat
Cheffin’ at home
Apteka (still)
Chengdu (still)
Pusadee’s Garden
Badamo’s – Sicilian
The Summit – Burger

# Top 12 overall stuffs 2023 (no real order)
12 taking walks outside and in the woods with Cassie
11  exploring and eating good food for a week in New Orleans
10  collaborating on events with various friends new and old – BXC crew, FUZZ, ASC, Ed Um, BXC Crew, Needlemother, Cleaner tapes
9  got a nice raise at work and still learning new things in my field (and beyond it)
8 hours of entertainment playing with AI stuff like Midjourney, Chat GPT, Suno, and more excited to see where it goes than afraid of it
7 seeing so many younger crews fill different niche’s in pgh’s scene, especially on the DIY end
6 cooking all kinds of good food, both original creations and things from some excellent cook books, and things inspired by my family.
5  the LAZERCRUNKS were few this year, but I was proud of all of them going off
4 creating and running a new PuzzlePath, and feeling happy with the design
3  musical trends i’m loving:  absurd blackmetal/dungeonsynth, 160 grime, electro infecting bass music,  junglism wave still here,  uk funky infected by amapiano,  twisted drummy broken techno, crews that party to noise and techno keeping it going, lines blurring, always
2 excellent trip to Washington that was super well balanced between Olympic National Park, Katabatik, hanging with friends and exploring the city (Seattle)
1 being able to spend some time with my family even as difficult situations arise

Leave a Reply